Jol condemns 'evil' N'Zonzi after punching Ruiz in Stoke loss

The 24-year-old was guilty of lashing out at the Costa Rica midfielder, moments after being caught by a flailing Dimitar Berbatov arm, but escaped punishment with just a booking
Martin Jol accused Stoke's Steven N'Zonzi of “evil” intentions during Fulham's 1-0 win over the Potters, suggesting the midfielder should have been red-carded for his punch on Bryan Ruiz.

The Frenchman was incensed moments before the incident in question, after being caught across the bridge of the nose by Dimitar Berbatov's trailing arm, and after receiving lengthy treatment allowed frustrations to get the better of him as he lashed out at Ruiz.

And Jol feels N'Zonzi was lucky to only receive a yellow card from Lee Probert, describing the clash as “more than a red”.

“I think he is very lucky to get a yellow card,” Jol told Sky Sports.

“Nobody can use anything but this was a sort of knockout punch, it was more than a red, it was evil. That was a bad one.”

Jol also moved to praise his goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, who made a fine save from Peter Crouch and completed an impressive outing by keeping a clean sheet with a penalty save from Jonathan Walters.

Describing Schwarzer's display, Jol said: “If you saw the first incident with Walters – it was a good chance.

“Then when Senderos tried to hold off his man, it was a great save and of course the penalty save – against Arsenal he did it, and today as well.

“He is a fantastic goalkeeper.”

Dimitar Berbatov scored the only goal of the game with a fabulous volley on the stroke of half-time but Jol opted to share the praise amongst his first-team.

He added: “You always need special players and we have special players who can make a difference.

“Today it was Dimitar but don't forget our defenders and goalkeeper. We were the better team, especially in the first half, we controlled them and played the better football.

“But we needed Mark Schwarzer to keep a clean sheet and to get the three points on the board.”

The victory temporarily moves Fulham up to 11th in the Premier League, leaving Jol more relaxed about their upcoming fixtures.

“It was vital,” he said. “There are three or four clubs around us and we know we could be one of those clubs that get dragged into problems again.

“Now we can look forward to the next couple of games on 32 points.”